Guys, I love my job. It’s hard and most days I feel like I’ve bombed it, but there are moments where God shows me that this is exactly where He needs me to be. And that is what makes me love my job. Not gunna lie, I was discouraged the past few days about working at the design store, I kinda felt like Mike Wazowski in Monsters University. You know the part towards the end of the movie when Mike is sitting out at the lake after realizing the hard way that he truly isn’t cut out to be a scarer? Mike has worked, studied, and dreamed about being a scarer his whole life until he finally gets the chance to show what he can do. Not only do the children not get scared or scream but they laugh and mock him. Not exactly to that extreme but I felt like I’ve wanted to do interior design my whole life. I remember taking bananas and measuring my bedroom and drawing it to scale on all the good printer paper I could get my hands on. I loved drawing different floor plans of my room. I loved looking at furniture. I loved stealing as many paint slips as my little hands could carry when my Dad and I were at Home Depot. I went to school and enjoyed every minute of it. My assignments felt more like hobby projects and my textbooks were actually interesting to read – because I wanted to know more about design. Now, after my first year of interior design school I’ve finally gotten the chance to show what I can do – just like Mike.
I’m intimidated with everything in the design world and I’m realizing first hand the contrast between learning something from the textbook and learning something first hand and through experience. Even when it comes to different products and having new and creative ideas for each and every client that walks through my doors seems overwhelming. I’ve made a habit every morning as I’m flicking on the lights in the store to pray and to ask for The Lord’s help. The ‘Open’ sign is the very last sign I switch on and when that light goes on – I’ve placed everything in His control. If I screw up – He’ll make it better. If I forget something – He’ll remind me. If I do something right – He walked me through it. If I remembered product information – He brought it to mind. I can’t even describe to you how different my days at the design store are since I started truly giving the day to God before I actually started them. It’s amazing. Just wow. Even when it comes to connecting with people when they walk in. I’m not there to shove a piece of iceberg marble down their throat or to stuff natural oak flooring in their back pocket. I’m there to chat, help and walk them through everything we can offer them. My boss pulled me aside the other day. I was getting stressed out with the amount of quotes that I had to get done and all the sourcing that was piling up. “Payton, why do you think you’re here?” He asked me. “I’m here to help people with their design. I’m here to show them our plumbing, lighting, flooring, furniture and decor. I’m here…” “Stop,” my boss cut me off, “you’re here to be the face of the store. I want you to first of all relax. You’re making your pixie stand up. I want you here to be people’s friend; not to just talk design with them – get to know people, ask what’s going on in their world, you know?” I nodded, but still tense. “Payton, the best way to give people what they are looking for is to get to know them. You’re doing great and you’re so comfortable talking to strangers. When people walk in here I want them to get to laugh with you, to see your smile and help them relax! You can do that, easily.” The tension left.
We walked back into the showroom and the rest of the day flew by. My gut hurt from laughing with people and it was so much fun just talking with people. Sitting on all the designer sofas and hearing what people were up to. Walking around through the showrooms with a coffee in my hands from the coffee shop next door. Some people were struggling with things that had absolutely nothing to do with their houses! A lot of people that popped in had never even heard of the store before – they saw the cool and grand chandeliers in the windows and thought they’d see what all the hype was about. As I was driving home it got me thinking. How many times does God want to grab us by the shoulders and say the exact same thing that my boss said to me. We are not here to force Jesus in people’s back pocket or to fill their calendars with church events. We are to merely be the face of Christ. When people see us – they should think of Jesus Christ. Just like my boss wanted me to represent the store, God wants us to represent Him. For example, when people were walking into the store I would tell them about the great sales going on in the store. That’s a turn off because immediately I am saying to that person “Hey, you look cheap, these are some deals for you.” Even though inside I’m thinking, “Hey, this is a steal, I don’t want you to miss out!” Now compare that to telling others about Jesus. If the first thing you say to a stranger is, “Hey! Are you a Christian? No? You need Jesus cause He died for you because He loves you.” They are gunna be turned off. Even though I’m thinking, “Hey, this is salvation, I don’t want you to miss out!” – it’s just like me telling people about the deals I have in the store. We need to show Christ and prove His love through our actions. We can’t truly give the Gospel if we can’t be an example for them to see.
My cousin had a crazy experience the other day that totally woke me up. “Tonight, as I was leaving youth group I was approached by a guy with a garbage bad slung over his shoulder. I asked if he was looking for someone inside and he said, “No, actually I’m just looking for some spare change…” Being the comfortable first world idiot that I am, I said, “Mmmm, no. Sorry..” and proceeded to walk to my car. As I began to drive away I felt God telling me, “You go and you pick that guy up and take him to Tim Hortons and you do whatever you can for him.” So I pulled up beside him as he was walking away and asked, “Can I buy you a coffee and doughnut at Timmies?” With tears in his eyes he said, ” Man that would be great! It’s cold out here..” I told him to hop in and we went to Tim Hortons where we both got a coffee and doughnut and proceeded to talk with one another. I learned that his name is Brad and asked what his story was. Then I got to share a little bit about me and then shared the gospel with him as real as I could. I told him that I wish I did things like this more often, and I wish that the church did too because we are the body; the hands feet and lips of Jesus and we have a job to do. As our coffee mugs ran dry, I asked if he had a place to stay tonight and he said he didn’t have anywhere to go; however he said he had family just out of town. So I asked if he wanted a ride as I was driving that way anyways. Strangely enough he said no. So I then asked if I could put him up in a hotel for the night. “I can’t let you do that..” it was then that Brad admitted to me that he wasn’t really homeless. He explained to me that God had told him to test me tonight. He was taking part in Youth For Christ’s Night on the Streets where people volunteer to sleep on the streets for a night to see what so many people go through that more of us are blind to. We both got teared up as we thanked each other for what the other had done and was doing. Folks, tonight God tested me through Brad. This verse came to mind,
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40
There have been countless times when my response has been, “No, sorry I don’t have any loose change” or “No, sorry I don’t have time.” I have failed this test so many times. But tonight God got a hold of me and showed me what we as the body of Christ are supposed to be doing for one another. We need to be the hands and feet. We need to be ready to be used when we are called. God showed me my heart tonight and where it was at. Then He took it and showed me where it should be. I thank God for men like Brad – who, I learned, have spent a lot of time hanging out with youth, being a leader, and being willing to go where God calls him. Tonight Brad, along with I believe 15 other faithful people, are sleeping out on the streets; freezing because that’s what God has asked them to do. These people are faith warriors, ready to go where they are called, and ready at any moment to do what God asks them to do. Tonight was the biggest heart check ever. Next time I pray that there will be no hesitation to help. I so easily could have failed tonight but God had a lesson for me to learn. So church, let’s start to actually be the hands, feet, and lips of Jesus. Let’s be ready to help when we are asked! Let us come together and be the body! Not just parts of the body. We are one in Christ! Thank you Jesus, to you be the glory forever and ever!”
My boss asked me to smile and chat with people when they walk into the store. My cousin asked if Brad would have coffee. Acts of love and Christ’s kindness aren’t always bold and glorious. They can be as simple as those. But can often be the acts that people remember most vividly. Looking back on what my boss told me, God opened my eyes to see that, that’s all He has asked of us as follower’s of Jesus. If we truly love the Lord then we should be living out His love. Pure and simple. My cousin said that meeting Brad and talking with him over coffee was a heart check. I feel like the other day was God tapping me on the shoulder to check my own heart. And now I’m challenging you guys to check your own hearts. What is our priority in life? To do well in our jobs, schooling, and be popular? The classic, “I wanna be rich and famous when I grow up.” Our priority in life SHOULD be to make people wanna know what’s different about you. And when they ask you can then share Jesus and His love story with them. My boss explained that the only way to sell something to someone is to make them your friend. It is exactly the same for sharing salvation and eternal life with people. Be their friend. Show them you genuinely care. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that no matter what we do – if we don’t have love, we are as annoying and pointless as a clanging gong. I don’t want to be that gong and I don’t want others to be turned off like that. I’m challenging you guys to start small and simply show love to the people in your world. Whether that’s bringing coffee to the office without expecting people to pay you back or to bring you coffee the next day. Maybe showing love is taking someone out shopping and simply spending time with them. Or maybe it’s only listening to them; trying to understand and show you care. You know what I’m saying? We can often get intimidated by the idea of showing Christ’s love to others. We get all wound up thinking it has to be in the form of donating our entire bank accounts to the poor or flying over seas to help in an orphanage. Not that those are bad things at all, but those are definitely not the only ways the show God’s love. Anyways, start your day by asking God to allow His love to flow through you. Because you won’t be able to truly love others the way God needs you to. I always need to remind myself that I am not the one to lead others to the Lord – God will bring people to Himself when they are ready and want Him. It’s not my job to save people; it’s my job to love people. It’s not my job to sell people entire bathroom renovations either. It is my job to make people feel comfortable at my store.
“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” – Colossians 3:14
– Stay Satisfied